Immigration 1880 1920 (DOC)

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					            The New Immigration and Urbanization: 1880-1920
America’s economy had been linked to the rest of the world throughout the 19th Century,
and as the global economy entered periods of Panic, so did the American economy. The
booming American economy, DESPITE the Panics of 1873 & 1893 ATTRACTED a
multitude of immigrants, enthusiastic to work in the INDUSTRIAL CENTERS of
Chicago & New York.

These immigrants were NOT like the “Old Immigrants”
    The Old Immigration (prior to the 1880s) was came from Northwestern
       European stock: English, Scots-Irish, Irish, and German
    The New Immigration was a massive influx from Eastern and Southern
       Europe

Assimilation was the issue:
Religion, food, language, and political/economic systems (many immigrants were
illiterate serfs) were totally FOREIGN to the WASP (White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant)
nature of the American population (excluding Native Americans & African Americans)

Exceptionalism:
   Americans believed their Protestant ethic combined
   with republicanism had earned them a special
   place in God’s heart.

   The USA was different, better than other nation’s
   and basked in the material blessings bestowed by
   their Creator.



Theodore Roosevelt (Governor of New York and later McKinley’s VP) called upon
Americans to do their part to preserve WASP culture in the midst of the Eastern &
Southern European immigration.
    He called on American Men to live a “strenuous life” (exercise, play sports,
      camp in the American wilderness and keep physically fit for the benefit of the
      white race)
    He also commissioned women to bear many children to keep the “White-
      Speaking Race” in the majority, and to avoid “race suicide”

As ironic as it may sound, the Old Immigrants, now established as respectable,
working-class and middle-class Americans reviled the poor, illiterate New
Immigrants as undesirables who would compete for their jobs and sully WASP
culture
What’s wrong with the Eastern and Southern Europeans, anyway?
Some racial stereotypes (beyond Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics: everyone knows
they’re inferior) of the other White people:
     Italians: Hot-tempered & violent, they are prone to crime (re: La Cosa Nostra)
     Jews: Nervous and obsessed with money, they were labeled as Christ killers by
       the Irish.
     Slavic People: (Russians, Poles, Serbs, etc.) Dim-witted, docile & servile, these
       people could never adequately participate in, or appreciate democracy

But remember, American capital (management) WANTED cheap, docile Third
World labor!




Immigration during 1900-1920s

Immigrants grew at such at a dramatic rate (1 million/year) that they constituted the
MAJORITY of the population in America’s major cities:
    New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, etc.
    Ellis Island in New York was the Eastern point of entry

Profiles of the New Immigrants:

Nationalities and ethnic groups:
Arrived from Eastern and Southern Europe
    Russia
    Poland
    Greece
    Italian (Sicily)
    The Balkans (Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia)
    Jews (from all over Eastern Europe)
Religions:
    Roman Catholicism
    Russian Orthodox
    Eastern Orthodox
    Greek Orthodox
    Judaism

Sex:
From 1899-1910:
    75% of the immigrants were men.
    Most were single, but many men had left their families back in Europe

Reasons for Immigration:
The SAME economic hardships faced by Americans during the 80s & 90s were
experienced by Europeans, as well.

Immigrants primarily sought ECONOMIC
OPPORTUNITY:
   European farmers were displaced from their
     lands because they could not compete with
     commercial farms


Religious and political tolerance:
    Russian pogroms motivated Russian Jewry
       to emigrate to America.
      Socialists and anarchists were quite unwelcome in Eastern European
       nations

Settlement in America
Word of successful arrival and settlement by immigrants was sent back to Old World
villages
     Entire villages would arrive and settle neighborhoods in America; this is why
        we saw places like New York’s “Little Italy.”
     Nationalities and ethnic groups lived among “their own kind” in their
       Balkanized neighborhoods

Emigration to America was initially intended as a TEMPORARY measure
   Work, acquire some wealth (American wages were better that Euro pay), then
       return home to Europe
      Upon return to the Old Country, the former immigrant would have a better
       economic standing in his community, e.g., ownership of one’s own farm



Problems of Urbanization: Crime & Squalor
Organized Crime offered welcoming arms (a forced welcome?) to their ethnic groups
    Italians: The Mafia
    Chinese: The Tong

These groups offered “services and protection” in their neighborhoods
      Organized crime would dispense street justice and social/economic aid (e.g.
       retribution) WHEN the American legal & political system FAILED to serve
       them.
      Additionally, organized crime offered men ILLEGAL pleasures: gambling,
     liquor (during Prohibition), prostitution, stolen goods, etc.
    These criminal organizations “protected” their enterprises from prosecution
     with “payoffs” (monetary contributions) to police officers, politicians, and
     judges


Urban Squalor
At the rate of nearly 1000 people per acre, cities were a dangerously crowded sea of
humanity.




      Immigrants were pressed into tenement housing,
       which lacked adequate ventilation and sanitary
       services
      Typical “Dumbbell” tenements were 4-6 stories in height and had four
       apartments per floor and shared TWO bathrooms per floor
      Each floor usually housed about 40 people

Garbage was TOSSED OUT the AIRSHAFTS or
onto the STREETS.
    By 1900, municipalities created regular
       waste collection routes.

      Unfortunately urban sewer systems carried
       human waste into the nation’s waterways!




Despite the problems of urbanization, Modern Technology contributed advancements
to the cities:

      Modern steel-frame construction (e.g. Brooklyn Bridge: 1883), electric
       street lamps and mass transit (e.g. street cars)
The Middle Class, to a large degree move to the SUBURBS of the city to ESCAPE the
crime, health risks, and the filthy foreigners! They were able to COMMUTE into the
cities via streetcars!




The Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire (March 25, 1911)
This New York City tragedy is an example of the dangerous conditions found in the
urban American factories
    Jewish and Italian, women worked, sewing garments on the 9th floor
    Management had locked the fire escapes to keep women from taking breaks


      When a fire broke out, the women were unable to escape;
       there were no open fire escapes!
      Women JUMPED to their deaths in an effort to escape
       the agony of being burned to death

      Water from the fire hoses was unable to reach the 9th
       floor because of inadequate water pressure

      Some women who jumped onto firemen’s life-nets bounced
       out and onto the pavement; they died
      146 women DIED, burned or crushed from their leap off
       the 9th floor
Asian Immigration
America’s immigration policy specifically targeted Chinese and Japanese immigration:
It sought to severely limit it!
Like the New European Immigrants, Asians also suffered from lack of farming
opportunities and industrialization’s reduced need for trades and crafts in their
homelands.
      Asians believed their stay in America would be TEMPORARY

However, Asians were distinct from Eastern and Southern European immigrants;
those “backward” Europeans may have been inferior but at least they were
Caucasian!

   Asians were NOT eligible for citizenship, and they were denied citizenship by
   the federal government until the 1940s & 50s

The Chinese Exclusion Act (1882)
The lure of railroad construction (Central Pacific) and mining had lured 75,000
Chinese immigrants by 1880.

Unfortunately the Chinese, or “coolies,” as racists like Denis Kearny of the
Workingman’s Party called them, had a reputation of being thrifty, hard working,
and TOO willing to accepted low wages (their presence depressed wages). This
earned the animosity of whites.




      The law, passed over President Chester Arthur’s veto, cut off immigration
       from China for 10 years, and was hugely POULAR with Americans.
      If a Chinese man left the U.S. he was forbidden from returning

After 1892, immigration was allowed sporadically until 1902, when it was cut off
COMPLETELY!
      The ban on Chinese immigration was finally lifted in 1943


The Gentleman’s Agreement (1907)
This deal was the result of an informal negotiation between the Theodore Roosevelt
Administration and the Japanese Empire.
    Japanese nationals had been to emigrate to the U.S. because their labor was
       used in West Coast agriculture.

Eventually, Xenophobia (Hatred of foreigners) fueled the public’s push to
RESTRICT Japanese immigration, despite the fact that the Japanese population in
California only amounted to 1%!

    In San Francisco, Japanese children were barred from white schools

The Deal:

Japanese labor remained permissible in the territory of Hawaii because their
LABOR was required by American agriculture interests, re: Dole Fruit Company

      Japan would NOT issue anymore passports to Japanese nationals wishing to
       work in America
      America WILL ALLOW Japanese nationals already in America are to stay,
       and wives, children, and parents MAY reunite with family in America

				
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